On Saturday, March 10, Josh Dunkley-Smith broke the Men’s Heavyweight 2000 meter record at the 2018 Senior Australian Rowing Team Trials. The new fastest 2000 meter time on a Concept2 Indoor Rower is 5:35.8.
Concept2 has verified the 28-year old’s time, which bested New Zealand’s Rob Waddell’s previous world record. Waddell still holds the record for the 30–39 heavyweight age group category, set in 2008, of 5:36.6; Dunkley-Smith's open world record is also now the Men's Heavyweight 19–29 age group best time.
The national team testing was held in Penrith, New South Wales, where the record was officially witnessed by many of Rowing Australia’s staff, including Men’s Head Coach, Ian Wright and Senior Men’s Coaches Andrew Randell and Mark Prater. The Senior Australian Rowing Team Trials meets the standards for 2000 meter records.
After setting the world record, Dunkley-Smith made the surprising announcement this week that he will no longer be pursuing selection for the 2018 Australian Rowing Team. “I am unsure if I am going to retire, that is a big decision to make” he explains. For now, his focus is on his family.
We always enjoy seeing new records being set and knowing what’s possible on the Concept2 Indoor Rower. Dunkley-Smith’s world record averaged a 1:23.9/500m pace at an average strokes per minutes of 34. He prefers to row barefoot. He has been a member of the Australian National Team for 11 years.
“We’ve seen Josh row sub-5:40 2k’s before, so it’s so exciting to see Rob Waddell’s open record finally beaten" explains Alex Dunne, member of the indoor race team at Concept2.
Rob sent praise to Josh, saying "Congratulations to Josh, what an outstanding achievement. It's a mixed emotion watching the record fall. On the one hand, I had quietly hoped it would last forever! But that's the competitive streak that lives in every athlete and lifts us up to these great moments. On the other hand, I have huge respect for what Josh has just done. He took a decent 'chunk' off the score, and must be a truly remarkable athlete. I hope our paths cross sometime soon and I'll look forward to congratulating him in person."
This is the second major world record to be set in 2018. In February, Christine Cavallo broke the lightweight women’s fastest time (6:54.1).